Government needs to show ‘more urgency’ in banning Iranian Guards, MP warns

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Government needs to show ‘more urgency’ in banning Iranian Guards, MP warns

Labour Friends of Israel vice-chair John Spellar calls for government to act faster over proscription of IRCG, as John Cryer MP brands Tehran regime 'clerical fascists who would have supported Nazis'

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

The UK government has been urged to “show more urgency” in getting around to banning Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as an MP branded the regime in Tehran “clerical fascists” who “would probably have been on the same side as the Nazis.”

Earlier this year ministers had said they were reviewing the possible proscription of the IRGC as a terrorist organisation, over claims the group were responsible for a series of incidents an attack on the tanker MV Mercer Street in July 2021, in which a British citizen died.

New Prime Minister Liz Truss and her defeated leadership challenger Rishi Sunak both hinted at pushing for the ban, after being quizzed on the issue at hustings.

At Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office Questions in the House of Commons in Tuesday Minister of State Amanda Milling was pressed on the need for a ban on the IRCG by Labour MP John Spellar.

Labour Friends of Israel vice-chair Spellar suggested an early ban on Hezbollah by the government had met with “considerable Whitehall resistance” before MPs and called for action with “pressure form this House.”

He then said the IRCP were “at the heart of destabilising proxy wars across the Middle East” before adding the government needed to “show more urgency in joining our allies in the United States in proscribing the IRCG.”

Responding, Milling said: “The UK retains a range of sanctions that work to constrain the destabilising activity of the IRCG.”

The minister added the list of proscribed organisations “is kept under constant review.”

But her answer prompted a further response from Labour MP John Cryer who said: “Why can’t we just get on with it and ban the Revolutionary Guard?”

Cryer also said of the Tehran regime “we are talking about clerical fascists who would probably have been on the same side as the Nazis if they had been around 80 years ago.”

Conservative MP Stephen Crabb then spoke of the “continuous thread” that links Iran’s “sponsorship of terror with its ballistics programme and its marching towards a nuclear weapon capability.”

Crabb, parliamentary chair of the Conservative Friends of Israel group, argued that “any revised nuclear deal with Iran should be accompanied by very strong measures to discourage it from being the world’s largest sponsor of terrorism.”

Milling said there were “real concerns” about Iran causes in the region, and said that while there is an offer on the table to Tehran “time is running out and there will not be a better one.”

She said if a deal was not struck soon “the JCPOA will collapse.”

Earlier Milling had jokingly apologised from the absence of former Foreign Secretary Liz Truss from the sitting in the Commons, saying she was “otherwise engaged.”

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